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Ruth King

University of Georgia Socialist Group Calls for GOP Lawmakers to Be ‘Guillotined’ By Chris Queen

Barely a week goes by without our political atmosphere becoming more noxious and the rhetoric growing more heated. A recent incident at my alma mater, the University of Georgia, highlights the toxicity of today’s discourse, especially on the Left.

On May 11, someone at the Twitter account for the Young Democratic Socialists at the University of Georgia retweeted an article about a professor who said that Republicans in Congress should be rounded up and shot with, “This is absolutely outrageous. House Republicans should NOT be shot! They should be guillotined.”

The group has since deleted the tweet — and the rest of their account — but, fortunately for us, screen shots are forever.

Campus newspaper The Red & Black notes that the organization’s former leader claims the tweet was a joke (because the only jokes anyone can make today must come at the expense of conservatives):

According to David Littman, founder of the Young Democratic Socialists, the inflammatory tweet was intended as a joke and should not be taken literally.

“I wouldn’t have made that joke myself, but it is clearly and obviously facetious,” Littmann said. “As a strict pacifist, I believe that all violence is immoral, period. But it’s absurd to take the joke literally.”

For what it’s worth, Littman graduated from UGA in 2016 and is no longer affiliated with the organization.

Does Trump Get the Israel-Arab Problem? By Shoshana Bryen

Following high-level meetings with foreign leaders, the U.S. State Department issues a “readout,” an official statement to cover and characterize the event. This week, Jared Kushner, assistant to the president, and Jason Greenblatt, special representative for international negotiations, met with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. At the first meeting, they were accompanied by U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, at the second by consul general in Jerusalem Don Bome.

The language was precisely the same in both readouts – with the exception of a single sentence modified in each – and included affirmation of “their commitment to advancing President Trump’s goal of a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians that enhances stability in the region.”

The exception was:

“The three officials discussed Israel’s priorities and potential next steps with Prime Minister Netanyahu, acknowledging the critical role Israel plays in the security of the region.”
“The three officials discussed priorities for the Palestinians and potential next steps, acknowledging the need for economic opportunities for Palestinians and major investments in the Palestinian economy.”

There are three things to learn from the readout.

First, if the administration believes that the goal is “peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” it is in for the same disappointment faced by its predecessors. Peace is not a negotiable property – peace is at best the outgrowth of the settlement of a dispute by war or by politics. (Machiavelli called it “the condition imposed by the winner on the loser of the last war.”) The dispute is and always was over the legitimacy and permanence of the State of Israel in the region.

The parties to the dispute are Israel and the Arab states, not Israel and the Palestinians. The crux of the dispute is the continuing refusal of Arab states – the losers of all the wars – to meet the central requirement of U.N. Resolution 242.

Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

If the Arab States, including Saudi Arabia – the president’s hoped-for partner in fighting Islamic radicalization – cannot accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel, it is impossible to believe that the Palestinians – riven with dissention, weak, corrupt, and split between the dictatorial hand of an 82-year-old who is in the 11th year of a four-year term and a fascist Islamic cadre in Gaza – will be able to make a deal with the Jewish State.

Asking the Palestinians to step out ahead of the Saudis, Qataris, Omanis, and others whose states of war with Israel predate the establishment of Israel in 1948 and continue to this day is asking too much. If, on the other hand, the Sunni Arab states are serious about a regional perspective that involves Israel, ending their illegitimate holdout on Resolution 242 would give the Palestinians more confidence that Abu Mazen or his successor won’t be the next Anwar Sadat. And it will further undermine the legitimacy of Hamas in Gaza, advancing President Trump’s goal of reducing radicalism in the region.

Robert Mueller Adopts Stalinist Tactics By Daniel John Sobieski

We may be thankful to Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, for reminding us of the delicious irony of an investigation which began with “reports” of collusion with the Russians by Team Trump and charges of Russian hacking of our elections, now reverting to the tactics of Russia’s most murderous tyrant, Josef Stalin. As Dershowitz writes in the Washington Examiner:

Special counsel Robert Mueller was commissioned to investigate not only crime but the entire Russian “matter.” That is an ominous development that endangers the civil liberties of all Americans.

Federal prosecutors generally begin by identifying specific crimes that may have been committed — in this case, violation of federal statutes. But no one has yet identified the specific statute or statutes that constrain Mueller’s investigation of the Russian matter. It is not a violation of any federal law for a campaign to have collaborated with a foreign government to help elect their candidate…

One does not have to go back to the Soviet Union and Lavrentiy Beria’s infamous boast to Stalin, “Show me the man and I will show you the crime,” in order to be concerned about the expansion of elastic criminal statutes. There are enough examples of abuse in our own history.

From McCarthyism to the failed prosecutions of Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Thomas DeLay, Gov. Rick Perry and others, we have seen vague criminal statutes stretched in an effort to criminalize political differences.

Indeed, now we here reports that Mueller’s investigation will range anywhere from Jared Kutchner’s finances to perhaps any unpaid parking tickets Sean Spicer may have. To paraphrase the boast of head of Stalin’s secret police, show Mueller the man, and he will find a crime, just as Mueller’s best friend, James Comey, found with Martha Stewart.

There too we see a vindictive prosecutor in search of a crime and it doesn’t have to be the original charge, if there is an original charge. As the Daily Caller reported:

FBI Director James Comey declined to recommend criminal charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified material Tuesday. But back in 2004, he led what legal observers call a “petty and vindictive” prosecution against interior design icon Martha Stewart for a lesser offense.

Stewart served a five-month prison sentence in 2004 at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, West Virginia, also known as “Camp Cupcake,” for lying to federal investigators about possible insider trading. In the years since the case, there is a consensus in the legal community that Comey’s prosecution was overzealous and vindictive.

Understanding ‘End the occupation’ by Moshe Dann

During the last few decades, the Palestinian propaganda machine aided by anti-Israel elements in the international community have created one of the most powerful and effective emotional and psychological weapons to defeat Israel: “End the occupation.”

Although it’s a popular mantra, few understand what it means.

It could refer to what Israel conquered during the Six Day War in 1967, or what Israel acquired during the War of Independence (1948-49), or everything “from the river to the sea.”

At first, Arab Palestinian propaganda focused on Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) as a “violation of international law,” specifically, the Fourth Geneva Convention as interpreted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. An anti-Israel, Geneva-based NGO, the International Committee of the Red Cross was the first to accuse Israel of “occupying Palestinian territory,” thus arbitrarily allotting a disputed area to one side. Because the International Committee of the Red Cross is also – uniquely – an official UN agency, its decisions are considered authoritative.

After Israel signed the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat (for the PLO), withdrew from Areas A and B, and along with the international community assisted the Palestinian Authority in developing its institutional structure, the focus turned to Israel’s legal and historical claims to Area C, in which all of the “settlements” are located. Experts and pundits debated the issue, but neither side was able to convince the other.

The debate over territory was important, but had limited effect because as Palestinian terrorism and incitement continued unabated and after two more withdrawals – from southern Lebanon in 2000 (which empowered Hezbollah), and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 (which empowered Hamas) – Israel was reluctant to surrender more territory. The “land for peace” mantra no longer persuaded anyone except hard-line ideologues. Even Israelis who supported the “two-state solution” were unwilling to make further concessions.

During the last decade or so, a new argument became prominent, often espoused by Israeli Jews and Progressive Jews in North America who are pro-Israel: “The occupation” is not only about territory, but is about “the Palestinian people.”

This shift to a humanitarian argument is persuasive because it is presented as a moral issue: Israel has no right to control another people, or nation – the Palestinians.

This portrays Israelis (i.e. Jews) as persecutors and Palestinians as their victims.

Google’s YouTube – Soap Box for Terrorists by Ruthie Blum

If anyone still doubted at that point the connection between terrorism and Google’s video platform, the Daily Telegraph revealed that British counterterrorism police had been monitoring a cell of ISIS “wannabes” since March, and recorded its members discussing how to use YouTube to plot a vehicular ramming and stabbing attack in London. Terrorists have learned that YouTube can be as deadly a weapon as cars and knives.

YouTube and Google, by posting such videos, are effectively being accessories to murder. They are also inviting class-action lawsuits from families and individuals victimized by terrorism. They need to be held criminally liable for aiding and abetting mass murder.

In Arabic with French subtitles, the clip lauds terrorists “martyred for Allah.” User comments include: “beautiful… may Allah give us all the knowledge and power to accelerate our imams.” In other words, the pictures of smiling terrorists and their dead bodies serve as an inspiration to young Muslims seeking Paradise through martyrdom. This is not theoretical. According to the website Wired UK, as of June 5, there were 535 terrorist attacks around the world — with 3,635 fatalities — since the beginning of 2017 alone.

In mid-March this year, major companies began withdrawing or reducing advertising from Google Inc., the owner of YouTube, for allowing their brand names to pop up alongside videos promoting jihad, a new report released on June 15 by the Middle East Research Media Institute (MEMRI) reveals.

According to the report — which documents the failure of Google to remove jihadi content that MEMRI volunteered to assist in flagging — thus far, AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Enterprise Holdings and GSK are among the companies pulling their ads from the platform. Google responded by promising to be more aggressive in ensuring brand safety of ad placements.

Then came the Westminster attack. On March 22, 2017, Khalid Masood rammed his car into pedestrians — killing four people and wounding dozens of others – then stabbed an unarmed police officer to death.

Exactly two months later, on May 22, Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb at the Manchester Arena, after a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. The blast killed 22 people and wounded more than 100 others.

On June 3, ahead of Britain’s general election five days later, Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba murdered eight people and wounded 48 others in a combined van-ramming and stabbing attack on London Bridge.

On June 6, Britain’s three main political parties pulled their campaign advertisements from YouTube, after realizing that they were placed in or alongside jihadi videos.

If anyone still doubted at that point the connection between terrorism and Google’s video platform, the Daily Telegraph revealed that British counterterrorism police had been monitoring a cell of ISIS “wannabes” since March, and recorded its members discussing how to use YouTube to plot a vehicular ramming and stabbing attack in London.

Appallingly, the surveillance did nothing to prevent the carnage. It did provide further evidence, however, that jihadis purposely use the major online platform to spread their message and recruit soldiers in their war against the West and any Muslims deemed “infidels.” Terrorists have learned that YouTube can be as deadly a weapon as cars and knives.

Nor could Google claim that it is unaware of the increasing pernicious use of its platform, or that it lacks the algorithmic tools to monitor YouTube’s massive traffic – involving 1.3 billion users and 300 hours of video uploaded every minute.

In the first place, complaints about jihadi content have been lodged by individuals and organizations for years. Secondly, Google vowed to tackle the problem through a flagging feature that alerts YouTube to material that “promotes terrorism.” Furthermore, YouTube itself claims: “Our staff reviews flagged videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines.”

The Appalling Delusion of 100 Percent Renewables, Exposed The National Academy of Science refutes Mark Jacobson’s dream that our economy can run exclusively on ‘green’ energy.. By Robert Bryce

The idea that the U.S. economy can be run solely with renewable energy — a claim that leftist politicians, environmentalists, and climate activists have endlessly promoted — has always been a fool’s errand. And on Monday, the National Academy of Sciences published a blockbuster paper by an all-star group of American scientists that says exactly that.

The paper, by Chris Clack, formerly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado Boulder, and 20 other top scientists, appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It decimates the work of Mark Jacobson, the Stanford engineering professor whose wildly exaggerated claims about the economic and technical viability of a 100 percent renewable-energy system has made him a celebrity (he appeared on David Letterman’s show in 2013) and the hero of Sierra Clubbers, Bernie Sanders, and Hollywood movie stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio.

Jacobson became the darling of the green Left even though his work was based on Enron accounting, alternative facts, and technology hopium. Nevertheless, his claims were politically popular, and his academic papers routinely sailed through peer review. In 2015, Jacobson published a paper, co-written with Mark Delucchi, a research engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, which claimed to offer “a low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem” with 100 percent renewables, went on to win the Cozzarelli Prize, an annual award handed out by the National Academy. A Stanford website said that Jacobson’s paper was one of six chosen by “the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from the more than 3,000 research articles published in the journal in 2015.” The fact that the National Academy would bestow such a prestigious award on such weak scholarship greatly embarrass the Academy, which gets 85 percent of its funding from the federal government.

In their scathing takedown of Jacobson, Clack and his co-authors — who include Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution, Dan Kammen of the University of California, Berkeley, former EPA Science Advisory Board chairman Granger Morgan, and Jane Long of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — concluded that Jacobson’s 2015 paper contained “numerous shortcomings and errors.” The paper used “invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.” Those errors “render it unreliable as a guide about the likely cost, technical reliability, or feasibility of a 100 percent wind, solar, and hydroelectric power system.”

Among the biggest errors — and one that should force the Academy to withdraw Jacobson’s 2015 paper — is that Jacobson and Delucchi overstated by roughly a factor of ten the ability of the United States to increase its hydropower output. Furthermore, the paper ignores two key issues: electricity storage and land use. Jacobson claimed that the U.S. can store energy underground or store it in the form of hydrogen. Clack and his co-authors wrote that “there are no electric storage systems available today that can affordably and dependably store the vast amounts of energy needed over weeks to reliably satisfy demand using expanded wind and solar power generation alone.”

But the most obvious flaw in Jacobson’s scheme involves his years-long refusal to admit the massive amount of land his proposal would require; his myriad acolytes have repeated his nonsensical claims. For instance, last year, Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org and one of America’s highest-profile climate activists, wrote an August 2016 cover story for The New Republic in which he lauded Jacobson’s work and repeated Jacobson’s erroneous claim that his all-renewable program would need only “about four-tenths of America’s landmass.”

University: Saying ‘Gender Plays No Part in Whom We Hire’ Is a ‘Microaggression’ And if you say it, you’ll need a third-party intervention. By Katherine Timpf

According to a document on Rowan University’s official website, saying that “gender plays no part in who we hire” is a microaggression, and you should intervene and correct people if you hear them saying it.

The phrase is just one of many on the official “Tool: Interrupting Microaggressions” handout, which contains a list of microaggressions, a method for “Third Party Intervention,” and a “Communication Approach.”

“Gender plays no part in who we hire” is listed as a “microaggression” under the subhead “Myth of Meritocracy.” The suggested way to intervene, according to the document, would be to say: “How might we examine our implicit bias to ensure that gender plays no part in this and we have a fair process? What do we need to be aware of?” (Because that’s a really normal way to talk.)

Another example of a microaggression, according to the document, is to say to a black person, “Why do you have to be so loud/animated? Just calm down.” Now, the fact that that is actually being defined as a “microaggression” seems pretty absurd to me. If anything, this anti-microaggressions guide seems like it is engaging in some microaggression itself by implicitly suggesting that only black people are inappropriately loud. I mean honestly — if someone were to say something like “Why are black people so loud?” then of course that would qualify as being racially offensive, but how can making a race-neutral statement telling someone to “calm down” be considered racist? Should no one ever tell anyone who is not white to “calm down,” no matter the situation, for fear of being branded a bigot?

Well, if you hear someone telling a person who happens to be black to “calm down,” you should intervene, the guide advises, and say: “It appears you were uncomfortable when ___said that. I’m thinking that there are many styles to express ourselves. How we can honor all styles of expression — can we talk about that?”

Here’s the thing, though: Could you imagine someone actually doing that? I don’t know about you, but if someone ever felt the need to interrupt one of my conversations to babble on about how he was “thinking that there are many styles to express ourselves,” I’d have a hard time deciding between giving him the stink-eye and asking him if he needed medical attention because he was acting so erratically.

This story was previously covered in an article at Campus Reform.

What to Make of the Saudi Shake-up The king has scrambled the line of succession. By Elliott Abrams

On Wednesday, King Salman of Saudi Arabia pushed aside his heir-apparent, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Nayef, and moved his own son Mohamed bin Salman into that spot. He also removed Mohamed bin Nayef (known as MbN) from his powerful post as interior minister, meaning that MbN’s days in the sun are entirely over.

What’s up? Why did this happen, and what comes next?

Here are a few key points.

First, it has been obvious since King Salman ascended to the throne in January 2015 that he wanted his son Mohamed bin Salman (known as MbS) to succeed him. The young man was the apple of his eye, and was immediately named deputy crown prince. The question was whether the aged king — now 81 and in questionable health — would live long enough to elevate young MbS, who was then only 29 and is now 31. The danger, for the king, has been that he would die suddenly, and that MbN would ascend to the throne and remove his cousin MbS from the line of succession. This week the king decided that waiting is not smart: Why take chances? Perhaps there is a saying in Arabic that resembles “God helps those who help themselves.”

Second, we now know (barring calamities like assassination) who will rule the kingdom for many decades. King Salman may rule for several additional years, but there is no reason MbS cannot rule after him for 50 more. This has never happened before. The Saudi system has had brother succeed brother — all of them the sons of the founder of the modern kingdom, Ibn Saud (1875–1953). Naturally, as his sons succeeded each other more or less in order of age, each successor was older than his predecessor; as noted, Salman was 79 when he became king. So the system has produced geriatric rule for decades now, while the Saudi population grew younger and younger. The CIA World Factbook says the median age in the kingdom is now just 27. And now the kingdom will have a ruler from those younger generations — for the first time ever.

Third, the Saudi system of brother following brother could only work for one generation — and King Salman was the end of that system. Ibn Saud had 45 sons of whom 36 survived to adulthood, and some of them were clearly ineligible to be king. So, there were a limited number of truly eligible brothers to take the throne from his death in 1953 until now — seven decades. But all those sons of the founder simply had too many sons themselves, and there has been no workable principle for figuring out how to choose a king in the follow-on generation. It looked like the first person in that generation, the grandchildren of the founder, would be MbN, but that’s over; it will be MbS. And (again, barring some calamity) he will rule for decades. What may happen by the time the aged MbS leaves the throne in, say, 2070, is that his line will have seized and will thenceforth keep the throne. He might name a son of his as crown prince, and that son could serve for ten or 20 years and be accepted as successor, and the old Saudi system will have changed: The bin Salman line will be the true royal family, and the others will all be on the outs.

Why should they accept that outcome? Because no one has offered an alternative that’s better, and there does have to be a king; Saudi Arabia is a monarchy. If there is an election of sorts for king, among thousands of princes who are both voters and candidates, that’s close enough to an electoral democracy to give non-royal Saudis modern ideas about actual elections — something the royals will want to discourage — and would diminish the status of whoever was “elected” king. Moreover, there are still plenty of jobs and financial rewards to pass around. Mohamed bin Nayef’s father, Prince Nayef, was minister of the interior and MbN got the post when his father died. In this week’s shake-up MbN was removed not only as crown prince but also as minister of the interior; but a nephew of his, Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Bin Nayef, age 33, was given the post — keeping it in the bin Nayef line and thereby reducing intra-family dissension. A son of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the long-time ambassador to Washington, was named ambassador to Germany, so the bin Sultans (Prince Sultan, Bandar’s father, was the minister of defense from 1963 until his death in 2011) also get a prize.

Trump and His Generals Trump’s reliance on his generals shows that he values merit over politics. By Victor Davis Hanson

Donald Trump earned respect from the Washington establishment for appointing three of the nation’s most accomplished generals to direct his national-security policy: James Mattis (secretary of defense), H. R. McMaster (national-security adviser), and John Kelly (secretary of homeland security).

In the first five months of the Trump administration, the three generals — along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil CEO — have already recalibrated America’s defenses.

At home, illegal immigration is down by some 70 percent. Abroad, a new policy of principled realism seeks to reestablish deterrence through credible threats of retaliation. The generals are repairing old friendships with allies and neutrals while warning traditional enemies not to press their luck.

Trump has turned over most of the details of military operations to his generals. According to his critics, Trump is improperly outsourcing to his generals both strategic decision-making and its tactical implementation.

But is Trump really doing that?

In his campaign, Trump vowed to avoid new ground wars while not losing those he inherited. He pledged to wipe out ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism without invading Middle Eastern countries to turn them into democracies.

Those are wide but nonetheless unmistakable parameters.

Within them, the U.S. military can drop a huge bomb on the Taliban, strike the chemical weapons depots of Syria’s Bashar Assad, or choose the sort of ships it will use to deter North Korean aggression — without Trump poring over a map, or hectoring Mattis or McMaster about what particular move is politically appropriate or might poll well.

Other presidents have done the same.

A wartime President Lincoln — up for reelection in 1864 — wanted the tottering Confederacy invaded and humiliated. But he had no idea that General William Tecumseh Sherman would interpret that vague wish as nearly destroying Atlanta, and then cutting his supply lines to march across Georgia to the sea at Savannah.

When Sherman pulled off the March to the Sea, Lincoln confessed that he had been wrongly skeptical of, totally surprised, and utterly delighted with Sherman’s victories. He then left it to Sherman and General Ulysses S. Grant to plan the final campaign of the war.

You Can’t be Pro-Palestinian and a Feminist You can either be a feminist. Or you can believe women should marry their rapists. Daniel Greenfield

64% of “Palestinian” men say that women who dress provocatively deserve to be sexually harassed. 52% believe that women who are in public places at night are asking to be harassed.

57% think that a woman should marry her rapist and 47% believe that women who are honor killed for bringing “shame” to their families usually did something to deserve it.

A third of “Palestinian” men say that women who don’t wear hijabs deserve to be insulted.

And the women aren’t much better.

More “Palestinian” women than men justify sexual harassment in public places. 54% believe that a woman who was raped should marry her rapist. 41% don’t think he should be prosecuted.

43% of “Palestinian” women agree that women who are out in public at night deserve to be harassed.

Half the population knew of an honor killing that had taken place in their community in the previous year.

These are the results of a U.N. Women study which finds horrifying attitudes and behaviors toward women in the Muslim world. And which, in true U.N. fashion, attempts to blame it on Israel.

This is the “feminist” reality in the Muslim settlements in the parts of Israel occupied by the rival Islamic warlords of Hamas and Fatah. Both had their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is a direct link to the Islamist organization. Arafat had first invaded Israel with a Muslim Brotherhood force. He encountered two key Fatah co-founders, Abu Jihad and Abu Iyad, with the Brotherhood.

Hamas gets its backing from the Islamist terror states of Iran, Turkey and Qatar. Fatah’s Palestinian Authority is funded by Western countries. And so it has to be more circumspect. But, like ISIS, the “Palestinian” colonies are efforts to build Islamic states inside Israel. Both declare that their legal systems are based on Islamic sharia law. Their roots are in the Koran which deprives women of basic civil rights and authorizes men to rape non-Muslim women and to beat their Muslim wives.

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other,” the Koran says. “And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them.”

Roughly a quarter of “Palestinians” have seen this Koranic dictum being put into action as their fathers or male relatives beat their mothers.

Islam declares that a woman suffers from a “deficiency in her intelligence” so that it takes two female witnesses to equal one male witness. Women in Islam are considered good for only one thing.